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L.A. Auto Show: BMW to bring pair of new green concepts

By David Undercoffler

12:49 PM PST, November 23, 2012

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BMW's i line of electric and electric hybrid vehicles hasn't yet hit the market, but that isn't stopping the company from unveiling yet another version at next week's Los Angeles Auto Show.

Making its world debut on Wednesday, the i Concept will likely be a coupe version of the all-electric i3 city car concept BMW has been dragging around to auto shows since 2011. As you may know, the i3 is a compact, four-seat hatchback with a range of 80-100 miles.

Its powerplant makes 167 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, and BMW says the battery charges fully in about six hours. The i3 is expected to hit the market in 2013, though availability and pricing haven't been announced.

Photos: BMW's 2012 L.A. Auto Show vehicles

BMW will also bring to North America for the first time its i8 Concept Roadster. Based on the two-seat i8 coupe coming to market in 2014 (which made a cameo in the 2011 film "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol"), the roadster will do 0-60 in 4.9 seconds, according to BMW. Both versions are plug-in hybrids and use the same electric powertrain as the i3, and then adds to it a turbocharged, 1.5-liter, three-cylinder gas engine. Total horsepower is 349 and and torque rated at 405 pound-feet.

And while a plug-in hybrid convertible BMW may align with the motoring ethos of Angelenos, the company will also unveil at the L.A. Auto Show a vehicle for those in colder climes: the Concept K2 Powder Ride.

Video chat: What we want to see at the Auto Show

This concept is basically a special version of the company's new X1 compact SUV with a particularly ugly paint job. BMW, in conjunction with ski and snowboard maker K2, then added extras like a roof rack and cargo carrier, a roof-mounted Harmon Kardon sound system, and unique 18-inch alloy wheels.

The production version is available now at dealerships (ask for the X1 Powder Ride Edition) and it too comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, in addition to more mundane paint schemes, a roof-mounted cargo carrier, unique interior trim pieces, a ski/snowboard bag and a pair of K2 LTD Powder Ride skis.

Highway 1 will have full coverage of the L.A. Auto Show from the floor of the Convention Center during next week's press days Wednesday and Thursday. The show will be open to the public Nov. 30-Dec. 9. Stay tuned.

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